BUSCH: Charlotte II: Ron Hornaday preview

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 12, 2004) - Life rolls on. And so continues the roller coaster season for Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco Chevrolet. After starting the season slow and then catching fire in the summer, Hornaday had a huge let down as ...

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 12, 2004) - Life rolls on. And so continues the roller coaster season for Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco Chevrolet. After starting the season slow and then catching fire in the summer, Hornaday had a huge let down as summer faded and fall rolled in. The up and down season has turned better once again as the ACDelco Chevrolet comes into this Friday's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway with back-to-back top-10 finishes.

Gone at the end of the season is Hornaday and Richard Childress has hinted that more changes might be in order to get his two NASCAR Busch Series cars into victory lane once again. Instead of giving in and focusing on next year, the ACDelco team has stayed hard at work and the payoff is starting to show. "We have been working toward this type of setup all year," said Hornaday. "Sometimes you can out think yourself and that is what has happened to us. Everybody is on board now with what we need to do and it's paying off. I now have the cars feeling the way I like them, instead of the way RCR has always raced them."

It seems the team has found that liking in chassis No.19. Hornaday raced the car at California Speedway in September and said it was the best feeling car he had ever driven at a bigger track. It looked like that car was on its way to top-five finish when a camber shim fell out of the left upper a-arm. The team had to change the part under green and lost several laps. They took the same car to Dover Downs International Speedway two weeks ago and again it looked like it had a top-five in the bag. But a tire developed a bubble on the inside sidewall and made the car handle poorly. Hornaday managed to finish seventh despite the problem. Last week at Kansas Speedway, Hornaday raced chassis No.19 to a fifth-place finish. He was second with 20 to go, but had a vibration from a loose right rear forcing him to pit road under caution, ending his chance at going for the win.

"We have been running the same car, but there is more to it than that," stated Hornaday. "I have a set of shocks that I just love. I don't care what track we race on the rest of the year, we are running these shocks. I like the way they feel. They can change anything else, but not my shocks!" They may not change anything. There has been talk of running "old 19" the rest of the year...at every track. ACDelco crew chief Butch Hylton says that might be a stretch. "This is a great car and Ron really likes it. We will probably take the drop-snout car to Memphis and Phoenix. He has always been awesome with a drop car at those two tracks. But, you never know. I think we could race this car at every track left on the schedule and be really good. We'll just have to see," said Hylton.

Points of Interest...

* Lowe's Motor Speedway Track Stat...Hornaday has one pole in his Busch Series career and he won it at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May of 2002 driving the No. 26 Carroll Racing Chevrolet. Hornaday's best start in the fall race is fifth last year in the ACDelco Monte Carlo. His best finish at LMS is seventh in this year's May event.

* Record Breaker... Hornaday extended his NASCAR Busch Series record for consecutive races without a DNF. The ACDelco Chevrolet has been running at the end of 67 straight races. The last DNF for Hornaday was an engine failure at Kansas Speedway in 2002.

* What ya' Haulin'...The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 019 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It is the same car that Hornaday raced to a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway last week. The RCR team says the may run this car at every event the rest of the season.

* Green-White-Hornaday...Ron Hornaday scored seven of his NASCAR Truck Series record 26 wins via green-white-checkered (G-W-C) finishes. He has the most wins of any driver in NASCAR under this finishing format. He won 70% of all G-W-C finishes he was involved in. Hornaday finished fifth after restarting eighth in his only Busch Series G-W-C of the year at Kansas Speedway.

No. 2 ACDelco driver Ron Hornaday on Lowe's Motor Speedway...

What are your thoughts on this weekend's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway?

"I am excited. I really am. We have been getting better and better at this track. I have my favorite car and my favorite shocks this weekend, so I am ready. I think it will be cool to race under the lights for the first time in a Busch race at Lowe's. I have run the (Coca-Cola 600) at night and it was wild. It's amazing how much the track tightens up as the race goes on. Fortunately, we start when it's already dark. In the 600, the car is wicked loose for the first quarter of the race. We will obviously start it as loose as I can drive it and then adjust as we go."

Did you just wake up a couple weeks ago and remember how to race?

"That's funny! Everybody looks at it that way. I am the same Ron Hornaday that won at Milwaukee in July, that won two NASCAR Truck Series championships in the nineties and won features at Saugus Speedway in the eighties. It takes a whole package to win in the Busch Series. We have hit that package a few times, but then it has gotten away from us. I think we have something that works right now and the results show."

Looking back, did the swap in teams hurt the No. 2 car this year?

"I don't think so. I really feel like Butch and I have been on the same page all year long. It just hasn't produced the results we both thought it would. Every year is different. Rick Viers and I meshed well and we finished third in points last year. But we only won one race. So, I think (Richard Childress) was thinking that mixing things up might get us a few more wins. It still may. We have a win this year and there are six races left. This team hasn't given up and I really like that about them."


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr.